Review: Delhi Masala

Delhi Masala Anyone that knows me knows that I have a serious addiction to Indian food. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve craved spicy, aromatic curries and fluffy basmati rice. My first stop en route home from the airport once I touch down on US soil is our local Indian restaurant that I’ve been going to since I was in elementary school. (Side note: The owner’s children are probably going to some pretty fancy colleges thanks to my dedicated investment in their business. Moving on.)

Therefore, moving to Buenos Aires was a shock in the sense that the availability of Indian restaurants went from what felt like infinity to just a handful. Way back in 2007 I remember going to Tandoor on its first night in business, actually. Good times. Since then, slowly but surely there has been steady growth of classic, no-frills and authentic curry spots that have been able to sate the beast within me, also known as my murderous desire to eat Indian on a weekly basis. Warning: Indian food does not photograph well (duh). Sorry I’m not sorry.

Naan-senseLiving just one block away from Bengal, I was very spoiled to become close with the head chef there; he’d always indulge my obsession with spice and make sure my dish was always “nivel extranjero” instead of “nivel porteño.” He’s a good man. What makes him an AWESOME man is that in recent years he’s branched out and opened up several restaurants of his own – all thanks to the help of his family members that he brings over from India to help run the show. I’m hoping they’ll adopt me one day.

This is a lot of build up for one lousy review, but it was necessary. Delhi Masala, located right in the heart of hippie dippie San Telmo nightlife, is pretty much the only place I’ll go for a curry these days. An incredible range of dishes (so far they’re the only ones who do mattar paneer … and extremely well), the typical tacky-kitsch atmosphere of bright overhead lights and lots of little elephants strung everywhere and overall authentic flavors make this my favorite Indian restaurant in Buenos Aires.

Mattar Paneer You can’t really go wrong with anything on the menu, but if you’re really hungry I would skip the appetizers and head for the mains (the samosas are quite good though). Dal, prawn tikka masala, mattar paneer, aloo gobi, vindaloo, korma … I have to stop myself before I drool all over everything. Great range of vegetarian dishes and a whole section dedicated to briyani. Yay! Sopping up those sauces with hot buttery naan is so delicious it should be illegal. Actually, I’d totally brave the wilds of Fuerte Apache or some other scary barrio if it meant I could get my hands on whatever magic is coming out of Mohammed’s kitchen. True story. Portions are generous, waiters understand the diners’ need for truly spicy food, and they even offer house-brewed cerveza to wash it all down. Remember that in BA, you have to order the rice separately from you main dish – kind of a drag but not the biggest deal.

Before you pass out in a heavenly food coma, try to give dessert a whirl. The pistachio ice cream is super rich and at the same time refreshing, though you might need an Uvasal after all is said and done if you’re anything like me. (For clarity: If you’re anything like me you will order three mains between two people and stuff yourselves to the brim with naan and basmati rice just for good measure. So basically you probably have more self control and better judgment than I do.)

The best bit of all of this? Delhi Masala accepts Club La Nación meaning your meal will be at least 20% cheaper every night of the week – 50% off on Tuesdays! Who doesn’t love a bargain in this inflation-ridden town? Just me? Don’t be shy. Pinching pennies is the new extravagance. Or not?

No matter the day of the week, the place tends to fill up, so either head there on the earlier end or call ahead to reserve if you want to be sure. They also do take out if you prefer to smother yourself in tikka masala in the privacy of your own home. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: No judgment here.

So if you’ve been craving a good curry and haven’t found the right spot, are looking for a new place, or have never even had Indian food because you were raised in a barn … Mosey on down to Delhi Masala and prepare for a camino de ida. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Delhi Masala
Defensa 714, San Telmo
Open for Lunch & Dinner
4300-3790
Discount with Club La Nación
Take Out & Delivery

Final Photo Credit: Via Resto 

Food Porn Friday

I realize it’s Saturday. But hey, better late than never, right? Yesterday I was unable to function and the idea of even thinking about food during the morning was pretty much torture. Luckily I came back to life and had a delicious meal at NOLA Buenos Aires (more on that later), so now that I am a fully functioning human I realized I owe you all a Food Porn Friday post. The temperatures are slowly starting to rise and spring is on its way, so I am craving fresh garden rolls with a spicy peanut sauce. So, here you go. Happy Saturday!

Photo Credit: Gourmet

Review: The Lost Asian’s Hidden Kitchen

As I mentioned before, there seems to be a second wave of closed door restaurants popping up in Buenos Aires, and I am ecstatic. This time around, things are taking on a different vibe, more intimate and relaxed, with their own unique twist.

If you’ve been in BA for more than a hot minute and enjoy food, you’ve probably heard of Frances. She has some of the most beautiful photos out there, and I’ve loved her blog form the moment I stumbled upon it. She’s this tiny person with a huge radiant smile (yes I have a girl crush on her, ok?). When she isn’t cooking/eating/photographing food, she also works as a licensed acupuncturist, nutritionist, herbalist, yoga instructor and Chinese Doctor. Basically she’s pretty much a badass.

Anyway, Frances realized her dream of opening her kitchen to the public less than two weeks ago when she opened The Hidden Kitchen at the Reserve space in Palermo Soho. I was eager to dig in to the goods and of course booked a seat at the table for the first night she was in business. Continue reading

Review: MASGourmet Fresh Pastas

As much as I love to eat and to cook, I’m not nearly as kitchen savvy as I would like to be. I gaze longingly at the Williams-Sonoma website, aching for the day that I will need canning supplies, a wheatgrass juicer, or an ice cream maker. Hell, I don’t even make my own pasta! (Don’t judge)

Anyway, why would I need to make my own pasta when MASGourmet exists in this world? Let’s be honest, nothing tastes quite like those heavenly ribbons of fresh fettuccine or those hand-rolled gnocchi. But sometimes the whole process seems to be a bit too time-consuming, or we just don’t feel like hanging fresh noodles all over the kitchen before we throw them in to cook.

MASGourmet is the solution to this. Fresh frozen gourmet pastas and sauces, delivered right to your door, for whenever you feel like eating homemade without actually having to do anything! You can literally order anything your heart desires – from tagliatelle to gnocchis to sorrentinos to ravioli (all in a crazy variety of flavors and styles). Sauces are more classic with offerings like fileto, bolognese, Parisien, green onion and mushroom, and (wildcard) a curry walnut sauce. Everything is made by Chef Agustina, who is basically the human incarnation of a ray of sunshine. You can tell that she loves to cook and make people happy with her food.

Ordering online is easy – Just check off anything and everything that you would like (minimum order AR$100 – enough to stock your freezer with noodle love) and get ready to receive it all within the next two days. There are a variety of promos too, so get creative! Pastas are portioned into single servings, so you can mix it up and order a bunch of different kinds, or make one big massive order if you need to feed a crowd.

I tried the Lamb (braised in Malbec) Raviolis and the Caprese Sorrentinos. The best part is that once your water is boiling, all you have to do is just plop those buddies in there and let ’em cook for literally 5 minutes and they’re done! No need to defrost or stare at the clock wondering how long until al dente.

Since I basically have Adult ADD I let the sorrentinos cook for 1 minute too long and one of them exploded – but it was OK, because the mozzarella started oozing out and it was a cheesetastic explosion on my plate. Totally cool with that.

I served both with a little bit of olive oil, fresh grated Parmesan, fresh black pepper and some red pepper flakes. Delicious! Easy as pie to make and super satisfying. The flavor is great too; it’s also nice to know they were made with love by a real person and not in some strange factory.

If you’re having friends or otherwise important guests over to eat and want to make a good impression, you could pull a Mrs. Doubtfire and act like you made these bad boys yourself. They taste deliciously homemade but with a gourmet touch (Hello, the lamb was incredible!) that will earn you brownie points (until they find out that you’re a liar).

I cannot recommend MASGourmet enough! It’s a nice way to break the routine and have tasty carby treats brought right to your door. If you think you’ll be craving dessert as well, you can order a range of sweet treats from the website as well. Check them out on Facebook to stay up to date on promos and new pasta varieties. Your first order comes with an amazeballs 50% discount! So get on it, and enjoy!

Recipe: Oven-roasted New Potatoes

This almost shouldn’t even qualify as a recipe, it’s so easy. But since it involves slicing, seasoning, and cooking, I guess we can let it slide.

When I’m hard up for a side dish or am too lazy to eat a real meal for dinner, I find that roasting these tiny taters in my toaster oven (yep, my real oven is so dangerous to light I’m convinced it’s really a death trap) is all I need. For some reason there are always tons of these new potatoes (or papas andinas -which often come in cool colors and bumpy shapes –  basically any small little round potato of love) spilling off the shelves at my local market.

It’s quite easy really – wash the potatoes, slice them in half or into thirds, depending on their size, toss with good olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper, some red pepper flakes and Italian seasonings and you’re good to go. Into a hot oven for around 15-20 minutes or until nice and crispy (I like bordering on burnt). Voila!

Ingredients:

New potatoes – let’s say 500g or however big the package at the store is
Several glugs of good olive oil
Sea Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
Italian seasoning – a mix of oregano and garlic with a hint of spice
Variations: Rosemary; paprika and fresh curry powder; cumin and a pinch of cinnamon

Method:

Preheat oven to high (220C). Scrub potatoes and pat dry. Slice them into halves or thirds, depending on their size and set aside. In a bowl, mix olive oil, spices and seasoning; add potatoes and toss to coat. The mix should be neither dry nor drowning in oil. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and browned on the edges. This can vary depending on your oven and how many ‘taters you’ve got in there, of course, so keep an eye out. Once they’re cooked to your liking, serve them alongside some roast chicken and a goblet of red wine. Bon apetit!